Ahead of the release of new smartphone hardware later this year, BlackBerry has released the first beta of its SDK for developers to become familiar with the next major release of BB10 in 10.3, which features new styling guidelines and user interface changes for apps in order to make native apps more appealing for users. BlackBerry also teased some new hardware in the blog post for the SDK announcement.
According to BlackBerry, the SDK provides support for its traditional BB10 screen resolutions of 720 x 720 pixels (square) found on the Q series and 1280 x 720 pixels (16:9) found on the Z10. The company also added a new screen size and resolution to the beta SDK that will measure 4.5 inches diagonal and display 1440 x 1440 pixels or double the Q10/Q5’s current resolution, hinting at the next major device update in the Q series.
Currently, the rumored device with the above dimensions is known under the codename Windemere and is said to also feature a new evolution of the BlackBerry keyboard that will rely on a combination of gestures and and a hardware keyboard for input, as well as an improved camera module. BlackBerry also confirmed that the recently announced Classic device will be running a further evolution of the 10.3 update in 10.3.1, which is expected later this year with the release of that device, though BlackBerry refused to elaborate further in the SDK announcement.
Along with those updates, the SDK also confirms that the Android Runtime will be updated to Android Jelly Bean 4.3 from its current 4.2.2-based runtime found in the current 10.2.1 software version with increased support for Android APIs and improving Android app support, though many dedicated enthusiasts are also clamoring for the inclusion of Google Mobile Services in the OS for full compatibility with Android apps without having to wait for runtime updates, which is unlikely at this point in time.